(1) The state recognizes the need to protect private structures and public infrastructure from damage or destruction caused by coastal erosion. Until such time as the state takes measures to reduce erosion on a regional basis, this section is the state’s policy on rigid coastal armoring structures, pursuant to ss. 161.041 and 161.053, for protection of private property and public infrastructure. (2) In order to allow state and federal agencies, political subdivisions of the state, and municipalities to preplan for emergency response for the protection of private structures and public infrastructure, the department, pursuant to s. 161.041 or s. 161.053, may issue permits for the present or future installation of rigid coastal armoring structures or other emergency response measures to protect private structures, public infrastructure, and private and public property.
(a) Permits for present installations may be issued if it is determined that private structures or public infrastructure is vulnerable to damage from frequent coastal storms.
(b) Permits for future installations of coastal armoring structures may be issued contingent upon the occurrence of specified changes to the coastal system which would leave upland structures vulnerable to damage from frequent coastal storms. The department may assist agencies, political subdivisions of the state, or municipalities, at their request, in identifying areas within their jurisdictions which may require permits for future installations of rigid coastal armoring structures.
(c) Permits for present installations of coastal armoring may be issued where such installation is between and adjoins at both ends rigid coastal armoring structures, follows a continuous and uniform armoring structure construction line with existing coastal armoring structures, and is no more than 250 feet in length.
Structures built pursuant to permits granted under this subsection may be ordered removed by the department only if such structures are determined to be unnecessary or to interfere with the installation of a beach restoration project.
(3) If erosion occurs as a result of a storm event which threatens private structures or public infrastructure and a permit has not been issued pursuant to subsection (2), unless the authority has been revoked by order of the department pursuant to subsection (8), an agency, political subdivision, or municipality having jurisdiction over the impacted area may install or authorize installation of rigid coastal armoring structures, exclusive of those authorized under subsection (9), for the protection of private structures or public infrastructure, or take other measures to relieve the threat to private structures or public infrastructure as long as the following items are considered and incorporated into such emergency measures:
(a) Protection of the beach-dune system.
(b) Siting and design criteria for the protective structure.
(c) Impacts on adjacent properties.
(d) Preservation of public beach access.
(e) Protection of native coastal vegetation, nesting state or federally threatened or endangered species, and nesting marine turtles and their hatchlings.
(4) The agency, political subdivision, or municipality shall notify the department if it installs or authorizes the installation of any rigid coastal armoring structures pursuant to its authority under subsection (3).
(5) The department shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section.
(6) A rigid coastal armoring structure or other structure constructed under the authority of subsection (3) shall be temporary, and the agency, political subdivision, municipality, or private property owner shall remove the structure or submit a permit application to the department for a permanent rigid coastal armoring structure, pursuant to s. 161.041 or s. 161.053, within 60 days after the emergency installation of the structure or other measure to relieve the threat to private structures or public infrastructure. Construction debris shall not be used in the construction of a rigid coastal armoring structure.
(7) The term “public infrastructure” means, for purposes of this section, public evacuation routes, public emergency facilities, bridges, power facilities, water or wastewater facilities, other utilities, or hospitals, or structures of local governmental, state, or national significance.
(8) If a political subdivision or municipality installs or authorizes installation of a rigid coastal armoring structure that does not comply with subsection (3), and if the department determines that the action harms or interferes with the protection of the beach dune system, adversely impacts adjacent properties, interferes with public beach access, or harms native coastal vegetation or nesting marine turtles or their hatchlings, the department may revoke by order the authority of the political subdivision or municipality under subsection (3) to install or authorize the installation of rigid coastal armoring structures.
(9) The department may authorize dune restoration incorporating sand-filled geotextile containers or similar structures proposed as the core of a restored dune feature when the conditions of paragraphs (a)-(c) and the requirements of s. 161.053 are met. (a) A permit may be granted by the department under this subsection for dune restoration incorporating geotextile containers or similar structures provided that such projects:
1. Provide for the protection of an existing major structure or public infrastructure, and, notwithstanding any definition in department rule to the contrary, that major structure or public infrastructure is vulnerable to damage from frequent coastal storms, or is upland of a beach-dune system which has experienced significant beach erosion from such storm events.
2. Are constructed using native or beach-quality sand and native salt-tolerant vegetation suitable for dune stabilization as approved by the department.
3. May include materials other than native or beach-quality sand such as geotextile materials that are used to contain beach-quality sand for the purposes of maintaining the stability and longevity of the dune core.
4. Are continuously covered with 3 feet of native or beach-quality sand and stabilized with native salt-tolerant vegetation.
5. Are sited as far landward as practicable, balancing the need to minimize excavation of the beach-dune system, impacts to nesting marine turtles and other nesting state or federally threatened or endangered species, and impacts to adjacent properties.
6. Are designed and sited in a manner that will minimize the potential for erosion.
7. Do not materially impede access by the public.
8. Are designed to minimize adverse effects to nesting marine turtles and turtle hatchlings, consistent with s. 379.2431.
9. Are designed to facilitate easy removal of the geotextile containers if needed.
10. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has approved an Incidental Take Permit for marine turtles and other federally threatened or endangered species pursuant to s. 7 or s. 10 of the Endangered Species Act for the placement of the structure if an Incidental Take Permit is required.
(b) The applicant or successive property owners shall provide financial assurances in the form of surety or performance bonds or other financial responsibility mechanisms that the authorized geotextile containers will be removed if the requirements of this subsection and the permit conditions are not met. The permittee shall file a notice of formal permit conditions in the public records of the county where the permitted activity is located.
(c) The department shall order removal of the geotextile container if the conditions of subparagraph (a)4. are not met, if the project ceases to function due to irreparable damage, if the project is determined by the department to have caused a significant adverse impact to the beach-dune system, or if the United States Fish and Wildlife Service revokes the Incidental Take Permit required in subparagraph (a)10.
(d) The department may require any engineering certifications that are necessary to ensure the adequacy of the design and construction of the permitted project.
(e) Upon receipt of a permit application, the department must notify the applicant and agent of all the statutory provisions of this subsection.
(f) The department shall review, with third-party expert involvement, the performance of dune restoration incorporating geotextile sand-filled containers to determine whether such structures provide upland protection and to determine their impact on the beach-dune system and adjacent properties. Such structures shall continue to be evaluated to determine if they are a more effective form of dune restoration than beach-compatible sand and native vegetation. Based on such analysis and peer review, the department shall recommend to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives if the provisions of this subsection should be modified. It is the intent of the Legislature that until such recommendations are transmitted and considered by the Legislature, there shall be no changes in the requirements or conditions contained in this subsection.
(g) The department shall not include structures authorized under this subsection in the statewide comprehensive beach management plan or the annual list of local government funding requests submitted to the Legislature pursuant to ss. 161.091 and 161.161.